North America 2
Universal Lening Pavilion, Denver, CO, USA
Aug 31, 2004
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking At Your Back Door
(Don's solo, including a "Rocky Mountain Way" tease that was
SO obvious but seemed to get NO reaction whatsoever!)
Smoke On The Water
Speed King (no discernible "Fifties" interlude, and
no rhymes, thank you)
Deep Purple with Joe Satriani AND Thin Lizzy supporting. Why
I was curious to see a Deep Purple show with Don Airey, and then I heard the
streaming of the Montreux Jazz set and found Steve Morse to be much more 'Purple'
now. Plus, when I saw the previous incarnation with Jon Lord, they were second
on the bill to Lynyrd Skynyrd (still, why?) at one of those all day classic
rock festivals where everyone plays shorter than usual. This time I might get
my money's worth. And I did.
I do miss Jon Lord for his particular style, but Don is a great fit. I have
also realy warmed to Mr. Morse because I have come to see that he fits in so
well with the current form of the band. This from a confirmed Blackmore fanatic,
who previously avoided the late 90's Deep Purple since the moody guitar player
wasn't there. I now think the best thing Ritchie can do for Deep Purple is to
continue to stay away and do his own thing. Don't get me wrong, I would go to
a reunion even if it meant a night full of flying water bottles ("Come
Hell or High Water" indeed) but now I almost feel like it would be the
worst thing for Deep Purple the band at this stage. The way it is now, at least
everyone is happy and we reap the rewards two-fold. Case in point, this show:
awesome new material and great versions of the old favorites. I do agree with
some of the other reviewers about missing Lazy because my Deep Purple has always
been a blues band (remember, Blackmore fanatic here)!
What about a Morse-flavored Wring That Neck? (ooh, I'm getting chills!) However,
anything like that would probably mean leaving something else out and come on,
look at that set list! What gets sacrificed while still letting them exercise
the new material? They're already passing on the Purpendicular and Abandon songs.
(again, this is a Blackmore fan talking here). Let's just have them play longer.
Next tour: An Evening with Deep Purple? [Oh yes! Itermissions are definitely
in again! Rasmus] (Heck, while I'm dreaming here, let's have Blackmore's
Night open! Now THAT would be the real "Hell Freezes Over" tour; maybe
For those interested in Joe Satriani, he played for a hour, and he's
still amazing. Everything was enjoyable and he remembered the hits: Satch Boogie,
Always With Me, Flying In A Blue Dream and Surfing With The Alien.
"Thin Lizzy" played for about 35 minutes.
Calling it that without Phil Lynott around is still tough for me to take, but
at least they have the courtesy to acknowledge him and present his material
well, even if it sounds more like the later "heavy Lizzy". Their contribution:
Jailbreak, Waiting for an Alibi, Are you ready, Cold sweat,
Suicide, Bad Reputation, Cowboy song and The boys are back in town.
Seriously, if you like Deep Purple, and they're coming to your local concert
venue, go! It's certainly worth it.
The Pavilion provided a good soundstage and setting to enjoy
the show and the shade provided by the tent was appreciated during the opening
Thin Lizzy opened the show to the sound of sirens that indicated that their
opening song was Jailbreak. This Sykes-fronted Lizzy played a lot of crowd pleasers
but was slightly hampered by a muddy mix that made Scott Gorham a little difficult
to hear at times. However, the band played quite well and Sykes really shined
on vocals and of course, on guitar.
Joe Satriani was next, after a short stage setup.
Having seen Joe in Denver just about 10 months prior on the G3 tour, I was interested
to see how his set would change. Interestingly, his band was exactly the same
but Joe brought in some tunes from his latest disc, Is There Love in Space?.
Throughout his set, Joe played brilliantly and the lone vocal tune, I Love the
Rain showed that Joe is an adequate vocalist.
After another stage change came the moment that I'd been
waiting for: Deep Purple!
I'd never seen Purple live, though I've seen plenty of video footage, so this
was a night I'd been looking forward to for several months.
They played quite a selection of songs from throughout their career, however
no Bolin/Coverdale/Hughes-era songs were played (which is hardly surprising.)
Given the breadth of Purple's catalog, I thought they did a good job of balancing
old and new material. Of course, people can complain that they didn't play more
older or newer songs, but that's the wonderful thing about Deep Purple: they've
got such a large number of great songs, they could play several shows without
repeating themselves once.
One touching point occurred about midway through the show.
Ian Gillan came to the front of the stage and sat down. He then talked about
the Space Shuttle Columbia accident and how Steve wrote and recorded Contact
Lost just after the breakup of the shuttle. Contact Lost then segued into Steve's
solo spot, supported by Don Airey. And speaking of the new keyboardist, he played
a wonderful solo spot that had my wife smiling with all of the different themes
that he quoted.
Deep Purple closed the set with the big three from Machine
Head: Highway Star, Space Truckin', and Smoke on the Water. I was truly amazed
by how incredibly tight the guys were particularly at the beginning of Space
Truckin'. Steve didn't do his famous name the riff intro to Smoke, instead cutting
directly into that song at the end of Truckin'. When Purple came back for their
encore, they picked a few nice surprises: Speed King and Hush.
Overall, it was a great show and the musicianship was
top-notch. Some bands that get to Purple's level of fame and longevity can simply
rest on their laurels, play their greatest hits and rather coast it. Purple,
on the other hand, give the fans a wonderful selection of old and new songs
and they top it off with a performance that shows that they still love to make
My thanks to Ian, Ian, Roger, Steve and Don for a great evening and some great
After two long years of waiting to see DP here in Colorado again,
I was not disappointed.
When Deep Purple arrived from their hotel, they were quick to head to their
dressing room (a trailer backstage). When they finally went on stage the place
went wild. As with any concert, many people had been drinking, but most were
just having a good time and were pretty tame. Only two drinks were thrown on
stage this time. Luckily they were plastic, unlike two years ago at Red Rocks
when some drunken idiot threw a glass bottle on stage that shattered. Ian Gillan
had to put shoes on!
Overall the show was very good, the weather was great and the company was entertaining,
but again the sound at that ampitheater sucks!
A heartfelt thanks and goodbye goes to Steve's guitar tech Skoots Lyndon. He
is retiring in November. I had never met him, but had heard only good things
about him from Steve and the Dregs. Last night I got to spend a few minutes
talking to him and I must say I was immediately taken in by his pleasant and
gracious demeanor. He will be greatly missed... [Oh yes indeed. Stay warm,
Thank you to everyone at The Highway Star, for providing us with this medium
to express our gratitude and experiences of one of the greatest rock bands that
ever graced a stage.
Steve's friend and # 1 fan,